The State of Emergency Controller is Bougainville and Chief of Bougainville Police, Francis Tokura has called on leaders and communities across the region to cooperate with the authorities in this lockdown period.
The Controller made this appeal yesterday during the briefing to media where he also outlined the emergency instructions for the state of emergency.
During the briefing to the media, the Controller explained that the emergency orders come into effect as of today, Saturday 28th March 2020 and will be in place for the next 21 days.
“General situation in Bougainville is very quiet at the moment. We have set up a command center where we are getting all the situation reports from throughout Bougainville. I appeal to general public and leaders to report anything that they are hearing or seeing in their communities,” he said.
The Controller reported that awareness has been conducted in North, Central and South Bougainville and will be ongoing. This awareness is currently being led by the Bougainville Health Response Team with assistance from law enforcement agencies.
The Controller also reported some concerns raised by law enforcement authorities that there are certain persons of interest in Arawa and Panguna who are foreign nationals and he asked that these persons of interest make themselves available to law enforcement authorities and the Health Response team to be checked and isolated.
Mr Tokura said that since the announcement of the State of Emergency, the Kangu Border post in South Bougainville has been closed and is being closely monitored by the law enforcement agencies in South Bougainville.
Mr Tokura reiterated that the emergency orders that were issued must be observed by the public.
This includes restrictions on gatherings of people which have been limited to less than 10 people, and that social distancing must be observed at all times. He explained that shops will be open from 10am to 2pm (BST) and there will be not more than 10 customers entering at one time.
“There is no need for anybody to come into town if you don’t have any business in town” he said.
He said these emergency orders are place for our own good and people must comply with it.
“A lot of people are dying in other countries around the world. The virus has not reached Bougainville yet but I appeal to us all to look after ourselves, our personal hygiene is very important,” he said.
Also at the briefing was the Controller’s Deputy and acting Chief Secretary for Bougainville, Thomas Raivet.
Mr Raivet in his remarks reaffirmed the orders given by the State of Emergency Controller and asked for people’s cooperation and for people to listen and observe the orders.
Raivet said that even though there has been a slow start in Bougainville, things will be tightened up as we progress with the 21 day lockdown.
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